Quark gets a sex change and hilarity ensues?
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So what I don’t get is this. Setting aside the need to have some awful humor, why didn’t the actual shapeshifter on board (Odo) do this instead? This episode is after he gets his shapeshifting back, right? And by now he can impersonate humanoids pretty well?
Odo can’t even make himself look fully Human/Bajoran/Cardassian. There’s no way he’d make a convincing Ferengi. Besides, in a whacky, humilitating scheme to help out his frienenenemesis Quark? No way he’d bother to do it even if he could.
Odo is a super serious, dignified, security officer…and he generally dislikes Quark and Ferengi for being dishonest, crooked, and greedy. He would need to be placed in a position where something more immediate and life-threatening to someone was about to happen, but then the episode would lose it’s comedic tone.
Overall, I don’t hate this episode, but there are better Ferengi episodes like the one where Quark thinks he’s going to die so he sells off his body…only to find out he’s going live, then tries to get out of the contract. His conversation with Garek about how to “do him in” is priceless.
The over arching story… Which one? There were 3 going on at once. Even then they had very little presence on the majority of episodes.
This episode does not delve into gender identity. No character identifies as anything different from what they actually are.
This episode… jeeeezzzz this episode… I was hoping it’d be one of the funnier terrible episodes, but this one just physically hurt me. No joke, I sat through every one of the interminably long and boring episodes of Voyager, which personally I consider to be the second-worst of the franchise (first two seasons of Enterprise are worse, though, by a long shot), and yet this? I sat through about a third of it and gave up. Offensive, wretched, mean-spirited, insulting, and worse it forever destroyed and ruined the character of Ishka. In the first appearance of Quark’s mum, she was immensely likeable. She had such capacity for warmth and love for both her kids, despite her political and social views being so radically different. The arguments between her and Quark felt real, and without genuine hatred and bile. You could really get behind the character, especially seeing what she was fighting for. As of THIS episode though, both of them are just frankly despicable to one-another. She’s spiteful, hateful, and downright sickening in her dialogue to her own son, and we’re supposed to like and support her for it. Obviously she’s got a good cause, but it doesn’t stop her from being an ass.
Hell, even Quark’s negative qualities in this episode are exaggerated to the Nth degree. He says and does things here that are blatantly stupid from a business perspective just to get across he’s sexist, which we already know (though there’s hints throughout the show that he doesn’t 100% believe in the traditions of his people, but acts the way he thinks he should based on what he’s been raised to think of as “a good Ferengi.” So really, he’s much more complex than this stupid episode pretends he is.
Gotta say, it makes me pretty happy to hear your favourite is DS9 as well. For some reason, in the Trek fandoms, this one is despised to a ludicrous degree. Usually it boils down to things like, humans aren’t perfect paragons of goodness with obvious set morals (which they say as if they always had been in TNG and TOS…?) Then there’s the “It’s not a Trek, they’re always stuck in one part of space, and there’s no discovery or new civilisations explored!” (as if trying something different is bad, and yeah they did discover new life and civilisations quite damned frequently, which TNG didn’t even do that often). Finally there’s “It’s not Gene Roddenberry’s vision!” (as if Gene was perfect himself. I mean, the guy came up with quite a few terrible ideas for the shows, not to mention things like writing lyrics to the original show’s theme tune with no intention of using them so he could rip off royalty money from the composer, then preached in his show about how money is evil).
DS9 may not have been “Gene’s vision,” but if the first two seasons of TNG are anything to go by, that was for the best. Stale plots that would have been dated 20 years earlier (like Code of Honor); preachy beyond belief; and stiff characters without a trace of humanity, devoid of any interesting flaws. That was what I remember most about early TNG (and this is speaking as someone who watched it when it first aired); that adding an android to the crew didn’t matter, because everyone else was just like him.
DS9 was definitely my favorite Trek series, and it’s so under-appreciated by many fans who never gave it a chance. I’ve heard reasons like “too many aliens” and “it’s not on a starship”, which are people’s opinions…but not good reasons to dismiss a show.
Kira and Oda are still my favorite Trek characters. I would have loved these actors (Nana Visitor and Rene Aberjenois) playing similar roles in just about any kind of series. It was also nice to have another intellectual captain in the vein of Picard, but still unique before we got female Kirk on psycho pills Katherine Janeway, and incompetent Kirk without the joy John Archer.
I enjoyed your best of the worst Sub-Rosa review and look forward to more classic Trek stuff!
BTW, for those who didn’t realize it:
Under the Grand Negus makeup is one Wallace Shawn, the “inconceivable!” guy from Princess Bride.
When I hear Star Trek, I don’t think about ANYTHING that I saw in this video.